After some very meaningful conversations with my readers last night, I was inspired to write this. I wrote it in one shot, in the middle of the night. It is raw and unedited from start to finish, just like my thoughts, and that is exactly how I want it to remain.
I am a mother, a woman; a human. I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes and still continue to make them. Sometimes I wish to rewrite a few pages of my history, but then I realize all those mistakes, errors in judgement, and sorrows are what made me, me. And I’m happy with the me; the growth of me and what has become of me.
Every challenge I face, every hurt I feel, every injustice I see and hear, I choose to etch into me to serve as a reminder that I can be better, as a mother, woman, and human. Kindness and empathy have always been my strong suit, and ironically my downfall. However, I refuse to show less love and be less kind. Because while half of the world is consumed with materialism, the other is engulfed in war and poverty; and in need desperate need of kindness.
I am so fortunate. We are so fortunate. I raise my children to understand how fortunate. I raise my children to show compassion towards those that are not as fortunate, to those that lack love and crave love. I encourage them to walk a moon in another’s shoes. I limit their toys and clothes, yet expand their library to help expand their minds. I present opportunities to nurture plants, to grow our own food, to understand the importance of my choosing not to eat meat.
And more than anything, we give. As much as we can give. I’ve been criticized for giving too much; doing too much for others. Perhaps my eyes see differently than theirs. We may not have luxuries but my children are not lacking. We have shelter from the cold and food in our bellies and enough love to encompass us forever. Every night when I put my children to bed, my heart aches for Earth’s not-so-fortunate children.
I refuse to pave the path to insatiable consumerism. I teach my children to express gratitude, especially for all that we take for granted, and to give graciously in the process. Yet I remind them that sometimes all someone needs is a friend. I tell my kids to be that friend, to give friendship even if you cannot give anything else – to show kindness and nurture good because when we are shown kindness we tend to reciprocate that kindness. The world could use more kind people. And more kindness.
So we do not focus solely on ourselves, our personal achievements, academic successes, and material gains. Instead we focus on eachother, on being less selfish, on listening more than speaking, and understanding our purpose and place as one entity in a world of billions. And in the process of this and growing up, mistakes will inevitably be made, tears will be shed, lessons will be learnt, and perspectives will change. And through it all, we will nourish our soul and maintain equilibrium; through song, dance, writing, yoga, reflection, meditation – Whatever it takes so that our peace is not so easily disturbed, or worse, replaced by the chaos around us. The hope is that we will remain good and true but emerge enlightened.
And that is how an imperfect mother, woman, and human, chooses to raise her first world children.
hPhotographs courtesy of Amily of Petite Moments Photography.